Re: A billion years later...

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sun Dec 09 2001 - 19:34:17 MST

At 02:48 AM 12/9/01 -0600, Jeff Bone wrote:
>Damien Broderick wrote:
>> This alleged `rule of the form' (`Introduce only one novelty per story')
>> worked moderately well for H. G. Wells

>BTW, it was Frank Herbert that told me that "rule" of the form when I met him
>shortly before his death. (I don't know if he came up with that rule, but
>the one I heard it from.)

He didn't. As I implied, the ceteris paribus condition was a working maxim
of Wells. In *narrativity* terms, it was restated by C. S. Lewis, a man
whose sf was singularly barren of science: `To tell how odd things struck
odd people is to have an oddity too much. ' This is a prescription for
pallid and implausible sf once we move even a little way into the multiplex

This is discussed in much greater detail in Chapter 2, `Generic
Engineering', of my 1995 Routledge book READING BY STARLIGHT.

Damien Broderick

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